Women’s rights activists call for public registry of doctors refusing abortions

NEWS 03.06.2022 15:52
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Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-unrecognizable-male-doctor-with-stethoscope-4021775/

The civil society initiative Dosta! (Enough) on Friday sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, calling for making public a register of medical workers who are conscientious objectors and data on the capacity of medical institutions to provide the service of pregnancy termination.

“The purpose of a public register is for patients to know which health institution to contact for pregnancy termination. At the moment that is not clear, which leads to situations in which, due to procrastination, the legal time-frame within which a woman can request pregnancy termination, expires,” Branka Mrzic-Jagatic of the Roda association told a news conference.

The Dosta initiative recalled the case of Mirela Cavajda, who decided to have her pregnancy terminated after the fetus was diagnosed with massive brain tumor in the second trimester, as well as a recent case when the KBC Osijek hospital misled a patient into believing that her pregnancy had been terminated, after which she had to seek help in the Netherlands.

In its letter the initiative also calls on the government to make sure all medical institutions have a sufficient number of medical workers willing to perform pregnancy terminations, with the cost covered from medical insurance, in order to prevent institutional conscientious objection.

The initiative recalled that women in Croatia have the right to a safe and legal abortion under a law adopted in 1978, which is still in force.

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